The Book of Man is a male lifestyle website and support network, offering advice and inspiration to modern men in a time of great change. So, when Jamie Stevens saw Co-Founder Mark Sandford’s amazing post on his hair anxiety, he reached out to him to prove that there are products out there which can help eradicate hair anxiety for the modern man.
Read on to see how Mark’s one-on-one tutorial went with Jamie.
Most men would rather have a tiny penis than go bald. Not this man, but why should we have to trade. Why do we care so much about thinning hair?
I recently wrote in The Book of Man about my thinning hair anxiety and my hap hazard experimentation with hair powders. I have had serious fear about losing my hair for years, but recently discovered that there are a number of ways you can hide thinning hair without going through surgery. Soon after the feature went out, none other than British Hairdresser of the Year nominee (five times) Jamie Stevens got in touch with an offer. To prove that hair covering products can look s***-hot if you just practice applying them properly. In the next 7 steps it is our mission to show you that hair masking products can work… for some of you. And by practicing the application, you can reclaim your barnet in time for summer. It’s time to hide your thinning hair.
1. Wash, Repeat, Condition
Literally wash the s*** our of your hair. Two applications of a thickening shampoo followed by a thickening conditioner. CONDITION! Failing to do so means your fragile follicles will snap off, which is terribly upsetting. Never have the lives of so few given so much. If you have a back-massaging hair wash chair then great. Don’t worry, a filthy neglected shower will suffice.
2. Pat it don’t rub it
Take a long hard look at that scalp, but don’t strain your eyes, use a mirror if you need to. Now pat your hair dry. If you don’t want to see anymore of that pasty scalp, then don’t rub it like you’re polishing a Jacobean sideboard. Jamie’s top tip along with patting is to buy a silk pillowcase. Like you needed an excuse you Duke!
3. Make the cut if you can
Ok. This bit should really be done before everything but let’s treat it as an aside. A short hair-cut can go a long way to hide the whisp on its own. It’s time to get your barber to go all the way. I had never gone this far. But I trusted Jamie. He’s a winner of awards. Don’t be afraid to gently whisper, “Keep going…keep going…keep going,” – you want to be able to see skin (you’re private cowboy preparing for duty now).
TOP TIP: A good barber/hairdresser will advise you on the best cut for your hair.”What are we doing today?” “You tell me pal…”
4. The magic spray
Once you’ve washed now it’s the magic bit. Jamie starts applying a brown spray to my gently patted hair. “This is for the scalp, it’s to cover the scalp and blend it into the natural hair colour.” He suggests using a flicking motion to ensure that there is no obvious build up. “This takes practice,” he says, using the example that, “If I told you to go and spray paint a car for the first time, you’d probably f*** it up.” He’s right, I would. Within seconds I can see the results. I start flicking an imaginary can under my gown. Then realise how this must look. It wasn’t awkward.
TOP TIP: Don’t spray too close to the hairline as a sudden brown line can look obvious.
5. A quick blow
Next a quick blow dry. “This activates the spray on the scalp and makes it water resistant”, says Jamie. This means if you sweat, get caught in the rain or have a drink thrown over you for being smug, it will stay in place. Only shampoo will get it out. I can see the difference already.
6. Dab it don’t shake it
So the scalp is now dark. Is that me? Or a young Jack Nicholson? We haven’t finished yet. Next up Jamie applies the brown fibre powder. This is to thicken up the hair and attaches to the follicles. This bit I’ve done before, but not with this level of skill. “Just dab it all over your head like a pepper pot.” He’s a culinary wizard. Again avoid the hairline. Use your hands to style and place the hair as you would. Don’t be scared of your now absolutely filthy fingers (a small penance) – people will just think you’ve been building a stone wall…or changing a tyre. Because you have.
7. Fix it all in place
Finally Jamie suggests a fixing spray to hold everything in place, not wax or gel. This will also thicken things up further, but, “For f***’s sake make sure it is a matt finish.” Wet looking hair is not good unless you’re Keanu Reeves in Point Break or auditioning for a youth theatre production of Bugsy Malone, which you shouldn’t be if you are old enough to recede. So that’s you out of excuses, cos you are none of those things. None.
8. Marvel at it
Peacock and gush at your new head. Genuinely impressed. I could be on the telly. Or at least have my picture attached to a successful podcast. From washing, to applying, to drying takes a matter of minutes unless you get a haircut every morning…don’t do that.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t bother with this if you have a few strands of hair hanging on for dear life, you will look odd. Shave them off (you will look hard and/or wise). Do try this if your thin bits still have fight in them – I’ve just added an extra 5 minutes to my bathroom time allowance – because I’m worth it.